The reception for this past wave of talks from TED Global 2009 centers around the theme of accountability. People seemed especially moved by Emmanuel Jal’s music on his life as a war child and Michael Pritchard’s revolutionary water filter. We even got a TEDGlobal speaker sparking a discussion on one of these highlighted talks (in […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
Hip-hop star Emmanuel Jal first exploded into dance halls with Gua in 2005. His music has energized music lovers of all ethnicities and nations. But Jal's life story is far darker. Swept up into the Sudanese rebel army at age seven, he finally escaped with 400 fellow soldiers, 16 of whom survived, the rest succumbing to starvation, ambush and animal attacks. Rather than resort to cannibalism, Jal ate snails and vultures until he arrived at a refugee camp, where he was adopted by aid worker Emma McCune and later sent to England.
Jal found an outlet for his turbulent life story in music. His lyrics tell moving and disturbing stories, but wrap them into hope and love. He is active in charity work across Africa, fighting against poverty and child warfare. War Child, his biography, was released in early 2009 along with a documentary film.
What others say
“Jal's narrative flows between darkness and light, the terror that befell his family and kinsmen, the horrors he went on to inflict upon others, and a deep-seated desire to set things right.” — Washington Post
Emmanuel Jal’s TED talk
For five years, young Emmanuel Jal fought as a child soldier in the Sudan. Rescued by an aid worker, he’s become an international hip-hop star and an activist for kids in war zones. In words and lyrics, he tells the story of his amazing life. (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2009, July 2009 in Oxford, UK. Duration: […]Continue reading
Emmanuel Jal at TEDGlobal 2009, Session 8: July 23, 2009, in Oxford, UK. Credit: TED / James Duncan Davidson Emmanuel Jal, a tall, dreadlocked young man takes the stage and introduces himself as a rapper. It’s unusual to have a rapper at TED, but as Jal tells his story it’s obvious that he’s not your […]Continue reading